The Collector

Kingdom come, come kingdom go
That you may carve upon my grave stone
When confined in a six walled box
I will no longer hear the clocks
Indifferently ticking in cold deserted mansion halls

Kingdom come, come kingdom go
Mementos relics crated cargo
A million things all left behind
Relationships with humankind
Conducted as if I was buying slaves at auction
Holding court at gross parties
Where punch drunk sycophants
Came slobbering, to suck my cocktails
I escaped up the stairs to my collection

In my collection, facets of ego
Gradually eclipsing mass
Between the nursery and now
Struggling for meaning
Walking earth insensible
Flowerings of childhood turned to stringy vegetable

Titians, tits and grand Goyas
Glower through the high stone traceries
Oily smears bequeathed by thirsty souls
Studied throughout my long daze
Scumbled paint in priceless fossils
Many a sad sullen pieta
Christ eternal held away from me
Behind a brown and ancient glaze

Troubled at night by…
Flashbacks! Flashbacks! Flashbacks! Flashbacks

Whaaa… Mummy
I don’t want to train on my potty and I don’t want to share my toys with the other children
‘cos they’re so nasty…

… Child that I was then when was I last young?
When did comic wood bricks become trading in con-tricks?
When did innocence shudder and die?
Adolescent I planned to take total command
Draped vision’s guilt edge on the bars of my play-pen
Hoped to arrest the swift passage of time
As though by some chance I could recreate Eden…
Apple pie? Lovely!

So hope became a statue, my words became a gun
In the hit parade of self interest, I remained at number one
I was Mozart’s old piano, with a special gold inlay
I was always a lover of music, but I never did learn to play
Thought I’d be saved by my collection, to begin with
Thought I’d be saved by my collection
Would you believe it? But then

Nanny? Nanny Conscience?
Is that you standing at the end of my bed, Nanny?
My, you’ve been in cold storage for a long time, my dear
You’re looking out of condition, you could do with some exercise
I mean look at your skin, my god, the wrinkles!
Nanny! Nan-nanny! Had her made into a table lamp for me because
Because I need some light to shine but artificially
From her prim portals…
Nanny! Nan-nanny! Don’t you think you’d better start being nice to me, Nanny?
I mean one day soon I’m going to grow up big and strong
And an old bag like you won’t get a job in my kingdom
Nobody’s going to make me wash behind my ears, or eat my greens
Or share my toys with the other children…

I drank myself as dry as a desert
Still in the end there was nothing left to call my own
The freedom from pain with which I toyed
Became a doorway to a void
The only values left were relative to power

The trouble with life in ivory towers
The seconds stretch until they wear the skins of hours
Faithless mates who come and go
They run away like melted snow
A temple to ego never constitutes a home

And though it seems sad, this jangling junk we are amassed
A passing pageant passing fast, there must be something
Something that can
Last more than the sense of life as just a short and pointless overture to death
Fear debilitating fear and death run round in circles

Kingdom come, come kingdom go
Collecting clouds before the Son light
On pain of death our presents pass
Secreting habit over insight
Human soul is fertilised
Human span its wombing season
Ward of conscience fragile child
Aborted by unfettered reason
Candle, both ends burning

Collecting trash, collecting gold
Vampiric ego drains and clutches
When cross examined by the truth
It carves the cross up into crutches
Sharpened at both ends, some friend…
Freedom’s king is donkey borne
A cross, the bleeding palms on main-street
Collecting nothing but the scorn
Of those who cannot bear their eyes to meet
Except in artificial light
Who needs to star in such a cast?
I leave collecting to the past

To one last party, I asked them all and one
And when it was over I found that all but one had gone
Did Jesus have a grave stone upon which to carve his name?
We all are what we live, a truth that will never change
You cannot collect worthwhile living
For it is a crop that grows, from a seed of giving

Diaries, drugs, a glittering crystal ball
Cathedrals, palaces, sweet sugar you can keep them all;
Heaven, heaven is not for sale
Heaven is not for sale